Saturday, February 20, 2010

Long Valley (塱原)

On the third day of the Lunar New Year, we went to Long Valley. It has been said that it is the last significant piece of fresh water wet lands with cultivated fields in Hong Kong. And to try to preserve it, the railway from Sheung Shui to Lok Ma Chau went underground beneath it. We want to see it before it disappears.

We took the 51K minibus from Sheung Shui railway station in late morning. As the minibus turn off the main road to get into Ho Sheung Heung (河上鄉), a lady got off. As she got off, she gave a pack of traditional cakes to the driver. Apparently the driver knows most of the passengers, and the lady just came back from visiting relatives in the mainland.

The route terminates at the 居石侯公祠, a 200+ year old ancestral hall. It is now a declared “protected” monument and well-preserved.

Just a couple hundred meters away, we walked into some beautiful fields.

Lots of watercress, steeped in water even in deep winter. My father said it is easy to grow watercress. One just have to make sure there is plenty of water, and wait until it is big enough, like the field in the middle of the picture. Then cut off the top, like the field to the right. It will grow again, then one can cut again, ... It sounds easy enough.

The EastRail is less than a kilometer to the East. The spur railway line to Lok Ma Chau is right underneath us. The Fanling Highway is less than a kilometer to the South. And high rises can be seen at a distance.

It is so quiet that we can hear the turtle dove (斑鸠) crying. And when we look in a certain direction, we can pretend to be stepping back in time for 50 years.

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